Every ancient system of wisdom teaches that human life unfolds in a succession of stages:
childhood, a period of education and learning a period of family life and meaningful work, and a period of contemplative practice.
Just as there is beauty to be found in the changing of the earth's seasons and an inner grace in honoring the cycle of life, our spiritual practice will be in balance when we can sense the
time that is appropriate for retreats and the time that is appropriate for travel, the time for settling down and planting roots and the time to have family and children.
honoring these cycles, we honor the natural law of the universe in the Tao or the dharma of our own lives. Change comes to our lives not only from shifts in our inner needs, but also
from the shifts in our external circumstances. First we must respect the changing cycles that life brings us and accept the inner tasks they bring. Each of life's stages has a spiritual dimension. Each contributes wisdom and experince that we will draw upon in our spiritual growth.
More often we don't get to choose. The great cycles of our life wash over us, presenting us with challenges and difficult rites of passage much bigger than our ideas of were we are going .But when we bring to them attention and respect , each of those task has a spirtual lesson in them. It may be a lesson of staying centered through great confusion. or a lesson of
developing a forgiving heart with someone who has caused us pain. a lesson of acceptance
or courage ,finding the strength of heart to stand our ground and live from our deepest values.. Difficult cycles are everyone's practice..
Meditation: sit and close your eyes. let yourself feel present and at ease. .Let go of any plans and feel the natural rhythm of your Breathing.
when you become quite , reflect back over your whole spiritual life.The cycles you have gone through , the situations that have taught you the most, the unexpected lessons. The times of solitude and community ,your trials,your guides your recent practice. The problems you encountered as well, their difficulties , their teachings.
Enjoy this reflection, seeing it as a story ,and adventure , appreciating its cycles with a sense of wonder and gratitude.Then feel yourself resting in this moment today with an openess
toward your life ahead of you : the next natural stages of your life . the incomplete areas
of your life , the demensions of spiritual practice you may be called upon to include.
As your own Spiritual guide , become aware of what situation might be beneficial to you . How can you best honor both your choices and your life situation and include them in
the opening of your heart and the cycles of your practice ? Sense how you can be true
to yourself and true to the dharma, the Tao that is unfolding in your life...